Publications

All
Research
Comment
Blog
Books
Podcasts & Videos
  • Apr 13, 2019
    Unlike those of other countries, India’s machines are offline, inaccessible via the internet. In India, what started out as genuine concerns have transformed into a thinly veiled excuse each time parties lose elections — no matter that the Election Commission of India (ECI), recognised across major democracies for its independence, has taken steps to address […]
  • Apr 13, 2019
    Last June, German police arrested a man planning a terror attack by releasing large quantities of the biological toxin ricin, said to be 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide. The raids on a block of flats in Cologne blew the lid off our worst fears: non-state actors laying their hands on bioweapons. Technology has always […]
  • Apr 11, 2019
    If Marcus Tullius Cicero had been around in 2019, he’d have said that the sinews of war are infinite crude oil. So both Iran and Venezuela are major oil producers, and Venezuela has recoverable reserves about twice the size of Saudi Arabia’s. What has Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of OPEC been doing the whole of this […]
  • Apr 11, 2019
    Far from the spotlight (or at least the Indian spotlight), there is a cold war play happening between the Russia and the United States. The latest battleground is Venezuela where the US and Russia are currently engaged in a war of words over Russian military presence in Venezuela.
  • Apr 9, 2019
    Further, breaking up these companies would significantly reduce the value consumers get due to the high interconnectedness of the products. A lot of the value that Google has seen in the Maps platform, for instance, comes from all the data that they have from Search. Customers also receive a lot of value from other Google […]
  • Apr 6, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week Xi seeks to restore confidence in socialism; India-China mark anniversary of diplomatic ties; work starts to build Gwadar’s new airport, EU prepares for summit meeting with China and much more. I. Inside Track Xi’s Insecurities: A couple of […]
  • Apr 3, 2019
    , and
    What if China were to cut a canal through the Isthmus of Kra in Thailand? Such a project could transform the geopolitics of Southeast Asia. What are India’s stakes in the matter and what does it need to do about it? Manoj Kewalramani and Anirudh Kanisetti join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss. Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Apr 2, 2019
    , and
    Facebook just announced that it has taken down hundreds of pages in India and Pakistan for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”. What does this mean? Why is Facebook cracking down on pages, and what does this say about the future of social media governance? Anirudh Kanisetti and Pranay Kotasthane join Shambhavi Naik to discuss. Subscribe and listen […]
  • Apr 2, 2019
    What is remarkable about the 2019 Lok Sabha election is that the very nature of the contest is under contest. On the face of it, the BJP is asking people to give Narendra Modi a second term as prime minister, while the Congress and other opposition parties are campaigning to topple him. Yet below the […]
  • Apr 2, 2019
    and
    By Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Kunaal Kini Download the study in PDF A canal along the Isthmus of Kra could alter the strategic calculus for states across Southeast Asia, with China expected to benefit the most. In light of recent discussions around building the canal with the help of Chinese investors, this study examines […]
  • Apr 1, 2019
    , and
    Now that India has tested an anti-satellite missile, it is part of a club of just four states that have the ability to target assets in space. What does this mean for the future of geopolitics? And how does it continue the legacy of Cold War space marathons? Aditya Ramanathan and Pavan Srinath join Anirudh […]
  • Mar 29, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week the Chinese government puts out a White Paper on Tibet; Beijing reacts to India’s ASAT test; Xi’s Europe visit and much more. I. Frontier Management Tibet White Paper: This week the State Council Information Office issued a white paper […]
  • Mar 29, 2019
    , and
    Science and technology ought to be a priority strategic investment for India’s future. Shambhavi Naik and Pavan Srinath tell Aditya Ramanathan why the government needs to increase funding, articulate a positive vision for Indian science and technology, and give scientists a greater say in funding decisions. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox […]
  • Mar 28, 2019
    As everyone who has read a history book once is fond of repeating, history repeats itself. This has been a week of Cold War nostalgia in more ways than one. As I noted last week, the US dispatched B-52 bombers to Europe for “theatre familiarisation operations”. A few days later, Russia’s Ministry of Defence released […]
  • Mar 28, 2019
    and
    What kind of reforms would be required to make Indian manufacturing globally competitive? In this episode of our Dream Manifesto series, Anupam Manur discusses his wish list with Yazad Jal. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Mar 27, 2019
    In this episode of our series on dream manifestos, Surya Prakash and Ajay Patri discuss the reforms that Union and State governments can introduce to make the functioning of the Indian judiciary more robust. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Mar 26, 2019
    The recent public intervention by a group of economists over data published under the Narendra Modi government and a rejoinder to them by a bigger group of chartered accountants makes it appear as if public policy is a numbers game. And as if economics and accountancy are two rival ideologies contending for political power. Both these impressions are wrong, dangerous […]
  • Mar 26, 2019
    , and
    In this episode of our elections-inspired special series, Pranay Kotasthane joins Manoj Kewalramani and Aditya Ramanathan to discuss how a dream manifesto could change India’s foreign relations and bring the country a step closer to the ideal of Yogakshema – the peace and prosperity of its citizens. Read Pranay’s column on how India can increase […]
  • Mar 22, 2019
    For the third year in a row, Russia’s position on the World Happiness Index has slipped – it now ranks just beneath Pakistan. Part of the reason its high rank (*sarcasm*) must be the exuberant joy of President Putin, who earlier this week signed into law a bill that empowers the State to demand that […]
  • Mar 22, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover the CPC’s new rules for cadres; Xi’s visit to Italy; Indian envoy Vikram Misri’s interview to Global Times; the China-Pakistan strategic dialogue and much more. I. Politics & Ideology Xi Jinping kicked off this week […]
  • Mar 20, 2019
    Many newspaper editorials, activists and citizens are elated that the Modi government has finally appointed the first chairperson of the Lokpal. Since seven more members remain to be selected and appointed, and the entire organisation has to be staffed according to government rules, it’ll be some time before the institution begins to function. We are […]
  • Mar 19, 2019
    To be effective, terrorism must have an audience. The New Zealand attackers simply used a GoPro and live streaming on Facebook while they carried out the massacre. With social media and the mobile internet, terrorists can not only reach a global audience, they can get their message across unfiltered. These, unfortunately, are near-perfect conditions for terrorism. […]
  • Mar 19, 2019
    ​Madhav Chandavarkar, Ajay Patri, and Divij Joshi Mobilised violence is detrimental to the democratic fabric of India. It prevents individuals from enjoying their right to speak, move and conduct business freely. It can also cause injuries and loss of life to bystanders, in addition to significant economic costs from a cessation of economic activity and damage to […]
  • Mar 18, 2019
    With Future Retail signed up as its master franchise, the 7-Eleven convenience store chain will open its iconic shops in many Indian cities this year. Unlike in almost all the 18 other countries where it is “always close, but never closed”, it won’t be able to operate round the clock in India. As Kishore Biyani […]
  • Mar 17, 2019
    The decision by the Trump administration to withdraw preferential treatment to Indian goods should serve as a strong warning to the New Delhi that prioritising narrow domestic politics over good economic policy can have dangerous consequences. Trump’s decision to levy import duties on erstwhile exempted goods did not, as commonly understood, come out of the […]
  • Mar 14, 2019
    It seems strangely appropriate that the largest series of protests that Russia has seen in years is due to the state attempting to do new things with the Internet. Just last week, General Gerasimov, Russia’s Chief of General Staff who is widely credited with expanding the role played by cyberwarfare and misinformation in its military […]
  • Mar 13, 2019
    There are two interesting strands of thought that one can derive from the recent frictions between the US and China. First, geopolitical competition is closely linked to technological advancement. Second, values are a key component of geopolitical competition. The former refers to the accumulation of power; the latter is about the framework within which power […]
  • Mar 12, 2019
    The Election Commission has announced that it will closely monitor the social media campaigns of parties and candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. It has enlisted the cooperation of Google, Facebook and Twitter to uphold “the integrity of the political campaigns on their platforms”. As much as the Election Commission must be commended for factoring in social media activities in its overall governance […]
  • Mar 11, 2019
    , and
    A new book by a Dutch journalist claims Taliban leader Mullah Omar remained in hiding near a US base in Zabul, Afghanistan, until his death in 2013. The release of the book, and an accompanying English-language report contradict earlier evidence that Mullah Omar was in Pakistan. Anand Arni and Nitin Pai tell Aditya Ramanathan why […]
  • Mar 9, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week, we cover Li Keqiang’s big speech and all the Two Sessions action; developments related to Huawei, China’s ‘mediation’ efforts and trade balance with India and much more. I. Two Sessions China’s annual political sessions, i.e., the meetings […]
  • Mar 8, 2019
    and
    India’s social infrastructure is stuck in the industrial age. Creating social services for the twenty-first century will require looking beyond the existing models of developed countries. Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on iTunes, Castbox, Google Podcasts or any other podcast app.
  • Mar 7, 2019
    , and
    Thousands of delegates from all over China have gathered in Beijing for the annual meetings of the country’s two main political bodies, the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress. Manoj Kewalramani tells Anupam Manur and Aditya Ramanathan why the meetings are both a serious indicator of China’s policies and a spot of […]
  • Mar 7, 2019
    It’s been an eventful week for Russia on the global stage. Over the last few months. Turkey’s ham-fisted attempts to intervene in northern Syria seemed to only harden the geopolitical battle-lines, with word of the US withdrawal leading to a series of bombastic claims and counter-claims. Ankara is overtly anti-Assad and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia […]
  • Mar 6, 2019
    , and
    US President Donald Trump has called India a “tariff king” and threatened to withdraw India’s preferential trade status under the GSP. What is the GSP? What does India stand to lose? More importantly, what is in India’s national interest? High tariffs or low tariffs? And how should India react to the US provocation? Pranay Kotasthane […]
  • Mar 5, 2019
    and
    Dealing with alcoholism is a very complex public policy problem. Many Indian states have inaugurated a policy of outright prohibition – but this move can have risky unintended consequences. With a series of tragedies resulting from the consumption of spurious liquor in the news, Nitin Pai and Anupam Manur unpack the issue. Subscribe and listen […]
  • Mar 5, 2019
    There is a delicious irony in the Indian external affairs minister being the guest of honour at the OIC foreign ministers’ conclave in Abu Dhabi last week. The hosts did not rescind their invitation to India despite Pakistan’s strident protest, and accepted a Pakistani ministerial boycott as a price worth paying for the benefit of engaging India. Ironic, because it is almost […]
  • Mar 5, 2019
    As the fog of war between India and Pakistan clears, here’s an assessment of the strategic consequences that go beyond immediate tactical gains and losses. Read the full article on ThePrint.
  • Mar 4, 2019
    and
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently argued that there was no good method available for estimating job creation. But with the discontinuation of the NSSO’s five-year surveys and lack of Labour Bureau data, could other sources, such as government schemes, fill the data gap? Yazad Jal and Devika Kher discuss the reasons for their scepticism. Subscribe […]
  • Mar 4, 2019
    Pranay’s reply to this question for ThePrint’s #TalkPoint of 4th March 2019 The opposition parties are justified in seeking evidence to the extent that the government’s spokespersons insist with their boastful claim that 250-300 terrorists were killed in the Balakot air strikes by the Indian Air Force. In the broader scheme of things, the strategic […]
  • Mar 2, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week, we cover China’s role amid Indo-Pak tensions; the lead-up to the annual Two Sessions; Huawei’s big media campaign and a lot more. 1. Beijing’s Balancing Act The tensions between India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have […]
  • Mar 1, 2019
    A while back, I wrote about Aleksandr Dugin’s Last War of the World Island: The Geopolitics of  Contemporary Russia. Dugin’s worldview, I pointed out, was overly simplistic, relying on arbitrary definitions of “Civilisations of Land/Sea”. Dugin argues that as the paragon of “Civilisation of Land”, Russia is the only possible counter-balance to the US as a global […]
  • Mar 1, 2019
    Policy Focus Open Access Policy and Plan S: In a tweet, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Professor K Vijayraghavan announced India’s intention to join cOAlition S (Plan S), a Europe-led initiative that encourages researchers to publish their findings in open-access journals. China has also announced its intention to join Plan S; but from […]
  • Feb 27, 2019
    The optimum Indian military response to the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s attack on Indian security forces at Pulwama would be one that falls between two thresholds: high enough to impose costs on the Pakistani military-jihadi complex, but not so high that it would escalate to a higher level of conflict. The Narendra Modi government’s use of air power […]
  • Feb 26, 2019
    and
    Is a limited war between Pakistan and India possible? What political objectives can such a war achieve? With India striking alleged terrorist targets in Pakistani territory, General Prakash Menon and Pranay Kotasthane discuss this concept of limited war. For more, check out our discussion document “The India—Pakistan conflict escalation framework”. (takshashila.org.in/wp-content/uplo…-PK-12-2016.pdf) Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Feb 26, 2019
    It occurs so frequently in India that we have given it a name: When lots of people die after consuming contaminated liquor, we call it a “hooch tragedy”. Over 150 people died in the latest one over the weekend, in Assam’s tea-growing areas around Golaghat and Jorhat. Hundreds more have been hospitalised. Amid street protests, the state government has begun […]
  • Feb 26, 2019
    Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey was required to appear for a Parliamentary hearing earlier this month after being accused by social media users of bias against particular political views. He did not. As the conversation around social media, fake news and online censorship gets intense in the run-up to the general elections, Anirudh Kanisetti asks whether […]
  • Feb 22, 2019
    This is the eleventh edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at recruitment in the armed forces, women and jobs in STEM, artificial intelligence and the woes of youth. Read more
  • Feb 22, 2019
    and
    It’s been more than four years since the AP Reorganisation Act came into effect. Yet the acrimony between the union and the new look Andhra Pradesh state doesn’t seem to be going away. The AP CM was in Delhi last week to register his protest over the state not being granted ‘special category’ status. So […]
  • Feb 21, 2019
    , , and
    The Indian government may be thinking of regulating the activities of major social media firms such as WhatsApp. Facebook and Google have come out with new policies to control political advertising and combat misinformation on their platforms. As India’s general election comes closer, Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti, Yazad Jal and Aditya Ramanathan discuss these developments. […]
  • Feb 21, 2019
    I read the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah’s first Reith Lecture on the subject of Creed recently. And what he has to say about religious beliefs makes for an interesting read, particularly in the context of the Supreme Court judgment upholding the right of women to enter the Sabarimala temple. Appiah opines that religious beliefs are […]
  • Feb 20, 2019
    and
    The Jaish-e-Mohammad is a terrorist outfit that has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack. What is it, and what are its links to the Pakistani Military-Jihadi Complex? Pranay Kotasthane and Anand Arni discuss the organisation in this episode. For more on the Military-Jihadi complex, check out our conversation here: Takshashila-institution – The-pakistani-military-jihadi-complex Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Feb 19, 2019
    More than fear and insecurity, it is outrage that is driving public opinion after the terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama. There is widespread expectation that the Narendra Modi government retaliate using military force and further, conversationally at least, many people want to go to war with Pakistan To the extent that such a state […]
  • Feb 19, 2019
    In May 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping placed an ambitious proposition before the leaders of the country’s scientific community. He called on them to “aim for the frontiers of science and technology” and emerge as the “vanguards in innovation in the new era.” The overarching objective, he said, was for China to become a “major […]
  • Feb 19, 2019
    , and
    India has recently announced its intent to join Plan S, by which all public-funded research in India would have to be published in open access compliant journals. This move will help scientists, students and teachers across India to access research articles and will put all scientific knowledge in the public domain. In this episode, we […]
  • Feb 18, 2019
    The Compound Eye Feb 15, 2019 Policy in Focus: Interim Budget, 2019: Instead of a policy, this fortnight we highlight announcements from the Interim Budget that embrace the development of science and technology in India: There has been marginal hike in budget allocations to Department of Science and Technology – DST has been allocated INR 5321 crore […]
  • Feb 18, 2019
    , and
    In this episode, Nitin Pai, Pranay Kotasthane, and Yazad Jal discuss the meta-structure of political Pakistan. The central argument is that Pakistan is not one geopolitical entity, but two: the putative state (represented currently by a civilian government), and the military—jihadi complex (MJC) that has captured the commanding heights of power. In this episode, they […]
  • Feb 17, 2019
    In terms of reliability of official data, India is getting dangerously close to Chinese territory. The year that witnessed demonetization, when 86% of the cash in circulation was declared as illegal tender overnight and which was perhaps one of the greatest assaults on private property in recent history, is now being touted as the year […]
  • Feb 15, 2019
    , and
    On 14th February 2019, a CRPF convoy was attacked by a vehicle-bound suicide bomber near Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack. In this episode Nitin Pai, Manoj Kewalramani, and Pranay Kotasthane discuss Pakistan’s objectives behind such attacks and India’s responses to sub-conventional warfare. For more on this […]
  • Feb 14, 2019
    This is the tenth edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at the official job numbers from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the interim budget, universal basic income and lessons from China. Read more
  • Feb 14, 2019
    , , and
    Social Credit System is the umbrella term to describe the multiple reputation systems being experimented by Chinese companies and local governments. It is being promoted as a means to improve trustworthiness in a digital economy. So in this episode, Manoj Kewalramani, Nitin Pai, Manasa Venkatraman, and Pranay Kotasthane discuss this system and the possible alternatives […]
  • Feb 13, 2019
    , and
    ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) is an annual survey that provides annual estimates of children’s schooling status and basic learning levels for each state and rural district in India. (ASER Centre). In this episode, Nidhi Gupta, Anupam Manur, and Pranay Kotasthane discuss key insights from the latest edition of the ASER survey which was […]
  • Feb 12, 2019
    and
    Angel tax, levied on angel investment in startups, has been in news recently for tax notices slapped on a large number of startups. (Economic Times, 9 Feb 2019). In this episode, Yazad Jal and Anupam Manur analyse the impact of this increased tax scrutiny on the Indian economy. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on iTunes, Castbox, Google […]
  • Feb 11, 2019
    , , and
    Acclaimed actor and director Amol Palekar was repeatedly interrupted during his speech at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Mumbai when he criticised the Ministry of Culture for reportedly scrapping the advisory committees at the gallery’s Mumbai and Bengaluru centres. (NDTV, Feb 10, 2019). This incident sparked a conversation in our office over […]
  • Feb 11, 2019
    दिसंबर 2018 के चुनाव में जीत कर शेख हसीना एक बार फिर बांग्लादेश की प्रधानमंत्री बन गई हैं। यह भारत-बांग्लादेश संबंधों के लिए अच्छी खबर है यह तो हम सब जानते हैं। लेकिन कम ही लोग यह जानते हैं कि बांग्लादेश की आर्थिक प्रगति के कारनामे ने इस रिश्ते को एक नया आयाम दिया है। […]
  • Feb 10, 2019
    The promise of delivering speedy justice has moved members of the Lok Sabha to okay the , 2018, early last month. In response to concerns about privacy violations, the Bill proposes constituting a regulatory board, which will have the difficult task of finding ways to secure informed consent from people who may not understand what […]
  • Feb 9, 2019
    The raison d’être for intelligence analysis is being able to predict near-future events with reasonable accuracy. Based on the little that I have read, there is no mechanism that seeks to improve Indian intelligence analysts’ accuracy over time. This leads to what Philip Tetlock calls ‘outcome-irrelevant learning’.  This is a situation where in no matter what happens […]
  • Feb 8, 2019
    “Trade wars are good, and easy to win!”, Mr Trump had exclaimed. About a year after such an exclamation, there are hundreds of farmers, Trump’s traditional voter base, gathered around in Washington, to pressure policy makers and the Trump administration to end the trade war by describing the hardships they are facing. Farm incomes in […]
  • Feb 7, 2019
    and
    Manoj Kewalramani and Anirudh Kanisetti discuss India’s draft regulations for Chinese social media apps, as well as startup ecosystems, how to think about China’s presence in India’s app market, and some off-the-beaten-track ideas on regulating fake news. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on iTunes, Castbox, Google Podcasts or any other podcast app.
  • Feb 7, 2019
    The Compound Eye – Feb 1, 2019 Policy in Focus – DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018: The Lok Sabha passed the DNA Technology Bill, 2018, 2018 on January 8. The Bill will now have to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha’s next session, failing which it can lapse. What does the Bill […]
  • Feb 6, 2019
    and
    Anupam Manur and Yazad Jal discuss the new ecommerce regulations that came into force on February 1 and how it affects major players like Amazon and Flipkart. The new e-commerce investment rules bar online retailers from selling products via vendors in which they have an equity interest, and also from making deals with sellers to […]
  • Feb 5, 2019
    , and
    The defence budget for 2019 again brought into focus the unsustainable pension figures. This year, the Indian Army’s pensions and salaries alone amount to Rs 1.82 lakh crores – a whopping 42 % of the defence budget. But what do these numbers really mean for India’s military strategy? How can we relate these expenditures to […]
  • Feb 5, 2019
    Is it possible to consider no-first use as a means of bridging trust deficits between nuclear states? The present international system is as dangerous as it was in 1953 – at the start of the nuclear arms race. At least that’s what the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists believes, as the Doomsday Clock remains at two minutes […]
  • Feb 5, 2019
    Could an ill-tempered tweet lead to nuclear war? A new bill in the US Senate aims to make it less likely. A new bill introduced in the Senate of the United States aims to establish a policy of no-first use (NFU) of nuclear weapons. At first glance, the bill dated January 30, 2019 seems to be a long […]
  • Feb 5, 2019
    Some debates, it seem, never go away. In the first half of the 19th century, France has some of the most extreme protectionist laws in the world. It had 58 prohibited items for import and 12 items for export. Ideas of free trade, espoused by Jean-Baptiste Say and Bastiat, had few takers. It would take away […]
  • Feb 4, 2019
    , and
    US President Trump reiterated on 3rd Feb that US forces should withdraw from Afghanistan. He backed the ongoing peace negotiations with the Taliban. In this episode, Nitin Pai, Gen Prakash Menon, and Pranay Kotasthane try to understand what this means for Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan.
  • Feb 1, 2019
    , , and
    The National Sample Survey Office’s data showing that employment in 2017-18 has hit a 45-year low highlights the urgency of the jobs crisis situation in India. So in this episode, we discuss ideas for tackling unemployment in India.
  • Feb 1, 2019
    It’s not an overstatement to say that over the last twenty years, the world has grown increasingly used to American primacy and leadership. This primacy also spills over to the intellectual domain, where American perspectives and paradigms have shaped much of the field of International Relations. Alexander Dugin’s Last War of the World-Island attempts to […]
  • Jan 31, 2019
    and
    House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 presidential hopeful and Senate Armed Services Committee member, offered a bill — “The No First Use Act” — to establish in law that it is the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict. (Defense News, […]
  • Jan 30, 2019
    , , and
    After the Canadian government arrested Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei upon an extradition request by the United States, relations between China and Canada have taken a beating. This arrest is likely to be one of the major points of discussions in the negotiations between the trade representatives of the two countries being held on Jan […]
  • Jan 29, 2019
    , and
    In this conversation, we discuss what a minimum income guarantee scheme for the poor means and how it is not a universal basic income transfer. We discuss a few ballpark cost estimates and take a shot at anticipating the intended and unintended consequences of such a scheme.
  • Jan 29, 2019
    The cookie dropped yesterday. After weeks of suspense, the US government charged Huawei, a Chinese networking equipment manufacturer, with violating US sanctions and stealing trade secrets from its American partner. The specific charges apart, US officials have made no secret that the action has two broader dimensions — the ongoing trade war with China and the wider geopolitical contest […]
  • Jan 26, 2019
    On the surface, it might appear to be paradoxical that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi once declared that the Constitution is a “holy book”, his government has presided over the weakening of several important institutions: the Council of Ministers is now fully subordinate to the PMO, and once relatively independent RBI, Central Information Commission and […]
  • Jan 24, 2019
    After the Canadian government arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer and daughter of the founder of Huawei, a Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer, upon an extradition request by the United States, relations between China and Canada have taken a nosedive. In barely concealed retaliation, China arrested two Canadians over the past month, and then summarily re-sentenced […]
  • Jan 24, 2019
    This is the ninth edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at the ministrations of Modi’s ministers, Ambani vs Bezos, jobs for trans men, and unfair taxes on angel investors. Read more
  • Jan 22, 2019
    Tony Joseph’s Early Indians, though not perfect, is nevertheless an important, accessible and thought-provoking work on Indian prehistory. Ghosts of Ancestors Past
  • Jan 22, 2019
    Over the past few days the #10YearChallenge meme on social media prompted people to post their 2009 selfies alongside their 2019 ones. Most people were interested in how they and other people had aged; while some posted snippets of how their life had changed from 10 years ago. Now imagine if you did this for […]
  • Jan 19, 2019
    and
    An article on Trump’s barbs that India is only building ‘libraries’ in Afghanistan. We find that though conveyed crudely, there is some truth in his argument – India has not done much since August 2017 when Trump announced his previous Afghanistan approach. So we look at some options for India on the security, political, and […]
  • Jan 17, 2019
    , and
    Executive Summary In India, reform advocacy for the Intelligence community has largely been focused around parliamentary scrutiny over the intelligence agencies and removal of defunct ones. These suggested reforms, however, tend to overlook what is at the core of intelligence – people.  The success of intelligence operation is defined by the capability of officers conducting […]
  • Jan 16, 2019
    This is the eighth edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at lost jobs , the new reservations, sexism and much more. Read more
  • Jan 16, 2019
    In my previous column “Towards global no-first use”(November 20), I had argued that as India acquires a reliable nuclear triad — the ability to carry out retaliatory strikes by land, air, sea and under-sea — we must adopt a new approach to our nuclear policy: “The completion of the triad calls for a profound review […]
  • Jan 15, 2019
    To untangle the sordid controversy over the removal, restitution and re-removal of Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, it is useful to look at the affair from the perspective of ‘dharma’. Now the word ‘dharma’ is derived from the root ‘dhr’, which means ‘to hold together, to preserve, maintain or keep’. Dharma, therefore, is a set […]
  • Jan 12, 2019
    The FDI in e-commerce policy clarifications made by the DIPP was done in order to help the small retailers from getting exploited at the hands of the big e-commerce players. While it may help them in the short run, an atmosphere that is not conducive to investment in this sector is bound to hurt them […]
  • Jan 10, 2019
    , and
    The US-China Trade War goes well beyond tariffs on steel. Tariffs might just be a current battle, but the real conflict between China and the United States could be on technology dominance. In Part two of the podcast, we talk about how the first moves have been made now in a US-China War for Technology. To use […]
  • Jan 10, 2019
    , and
    In this podcast, we take a deep look at the trade-war between US and China. We begin by questioning the terminology itself. Is it a trade-war? Or is it just a tariff-battle? Further, we look at the domestic political economy of both the countries and how that manifests into such protectionist measures.
  • Jan 9, 2019
    In November 2018, the New York Times published a series that began with a story titled, The Land that Failed to Fail. The central argument of the piece is that defying Western expectations, the Communist Party has maintained its control in China while adopting elements of capitalism, eschewing political liberalisation, and pursuing innovation. The last of these three […]
  • Jan 8, 2019
    The Bulandshahr incident of December 2018 bears all the hallmarks of mobilised violence: an undisguised political purpose, backing from well-organised groups, and a disregard for the lives of civilians and police personnel alike. In addition to the loss of life and property, such violence undermines the state of liberty in the country. For the violence is often […]
  • Jan 8, 2019
    Stumbled upon by accident in the early 20thcentury, Kautilya’s Arthashastra is one of the most remarkable ancient Indian works ever discovered. Unfortunately, rather than seeing Kautilya as a member of a distinct intellectual tradition in his own right, studies of his work have been used to shoehorn him into a pre-existing school: Realism. Deepshikha Shahi’s Kautilya and Non-Western […]
  • Jan 8, 2019
    One of the signs of good literature is the ability to stay relevant with the passage of time. Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, written in the 1950s, uses the Salem witch trials as an allegory for the paranoia surrounding Communism in the US after the end of the Second World War. It is a testament to […]
  • Jan 8, 2019
    The amount of information in a message, American engineer-mathematician Claude Shannon realised, is closely associated with its uncertainty. Shannon’s pioneering work on information theory follows from the simple insight that the more surprising a message is, the more information it carries. If you get a text message saying ‘the sun will set around 6 pm […]
  • Jan 7, 2019
    and
    There is a need to protect the data belonging to individuals in these situations, providing the government with two possible policy options: it can choose to either overhaul the Aadhaar architecture completely, or it can build in additional security measures to ensure that individual data is not compromised. Uninventing Aadhaar is not a practical proposal. […]
  • Jan 7, 2019
    As the GDPR seeks to protect data users in Europe (and regions where the EU laws apply), it might not really make a difference to data users in India. However, this law extends to both citizens as well as non citizens within the boundaries of the continent. So, if you have plans to travel to […]
  • Jan 7, 2019
    and
    We started this Brainstorm still reeling from the sweet rush of the Supreme Court decision declaring privacy as a fundamental right in India. This was followed by the encouraging news of an Expert Committee working on a new data protection law. Things seemed to be moving in the right direction: individuals would be vested with […]
  • Jan 7, 2019
    and
    A week ago, the Justice Srikrishna Committee released a draft Personal Data Protection Bill and a Report to go with it. This is another step in the progress that has been made in the past year to create a data protection framework for India. It started with the Supreme Court judgement that recognised privacy as […]
  • Jan 2, 2019
    2018 was the year when India looked beyond Pakistan and South Asia. Let 2019 be the year when India reimagines itself as an important node in several neighbourhoods. Read the full article on Pragati here.
  • Jan 2, 2019
    In January 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping stood at the podium in Davos defending economic globalisation. He argued that the world needed to “adapt to and guide economic globalization, cushion its negative impact, and deliver its benefits to all countries and all nations.” And in this process, “China’s development is an opportunity for the world.” […]
  • Jan 1, 2019
    The focus has to be on reforming PSU Banks and managing fiscal situation both at centre and states. The fiscal situation in the country continues to be under severe strain, and with the impending general election, there is a severe danger of setting the clock back. The finance minister has continued to assert that the […]
  • Jan 1, 2019
    ‘Soft power’ is overrated. In India it is over-celebrated too. The idea enjoys support across the political spectrum: Shashi Tharoor is an articulate proponent, and so is Venkaiah Naidu. Everything from Indian films, cricket, cuisine, yoga, spirituality and the insufferable television soap operas are claimed to be elements of India’s soft power. After all the […]
  • Jan 1, 2019
    New Year’s Day is a good time to reflect on what we need to learn in order to be successful and relevant in the years ahead. We enter 2019 amid profound uncertainties: the world order is changing, global economics is changing, our domestic politics is changing and a lot of this is being driven by […]
  • Dec 31, 2018
    The Justice Srikrishna Committee (formally called the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Justice B N Srikrishna) is tasked with framing a robust data protection law for India. In November, 2017, the Committee released the White Paper – exploring the contours of data protection legislation across the world, and called upon stakeholders to comment […]
  • Dec 25, 2018
    Donald Trump is under heavy criticism for ordering a withdrawal of US troops from Syria and Afghanistan. Whatever you might say about the manner in which he made and announced his decisions, on Afghanistan at least, he is not wrong. If you look at it from an American perspective, it’s hard to explain why US troops are still […]
  • Dec 21, 2018
    Over the last few months, after winning a closely-fought election, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has successfully manoeuvred Turkey into a position of influence by smartly using the cards he has been dealt. On the other hand, the country’s economy is almost certainly on the brink of recession because of his mismanagement. In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s announcement of an […]
  • Dec 21, 2018
    The presence of women in combat roles is a matter of mindset, and what better place to change it than the Indian Army? The issue for the Army to ponder is not whether women can be inducted in combat roles, but how to make it happen. Otherwise, it is a matter of time before India’s legal […]
  • Dec 21, 2018
    A political slugfest about surgical strikes broke out after Lt Gen Hooda’s statements at the Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh on November 7, 2018. Lt Gen Hooda was the Northern Army Commander who supervised the execution of the strikes at Uri in 2016. The General opined that the strike had been politicised, and that it […]
  • Dec 20, 2018
    Chinese researcher He Jiankui – who announced on YouTube in November that he successfully modified the genes of Lulu and Nana, healthy newborn twins – has taken mankind one step closer to becoming the superpower that can triumph even nature in selecting our own genes. Scientists worldwide are appalled at Jiankui’s violation of a self-imposed […]
  • Dec 20, 2018
    कई विश्लेषकों का अनुमान है कि विश्व एक और शीत युद्ध की ओर अग्रसर हो रहा है। ऐसे में अमरीका और चीन दोनों वैश्वीकरण से जैसे-जैसे दूर होंगे, भारत की भूमिका और अहम हो जाएगी। एक उपाय है जिससे भारत इस संकट को खुद के लिए मौके में बदल सकता है – व्यापार शर्तों का […]
  • Dec 19, 2018
    , and
    By Pranay Kotasthane, Devika Kher, Pavan Srinath, and Aashish Chajjer Download the paper in PDF Financing public health in India is a vital challenge. As a response, the Union government transfers funds to the lower tiers of government, specifically meant to improve the public health services. The stated goal of specific transfers is to ensure […]
  • Dec 18, 2018
    Last week, several members of India and Russia’s think tank community sat down for two days of conversation in Moscow. Since so much of our knowledge on Russian affairs comes filtered either through the prism of Western reportage or though pro-establishment Russian media, engaging in closed-door discussions with leading intellectuals and policy influencers was particularly valuable. Here are some of my […]
  • Dec 13, 2018
    A couple checks into a clinic and looks up a menu of options: blue eyes, fair skin, excellent hand-eye co-ordination, good runner, team player. They are opting for the “sportsman” package with a few cosmetic perks for their future child. Having made their choices, they walk away. A few weeks later, their desirable embryo is […]
  • Dec 11, 2018
    India’s regulators work in mysterious ways. Take the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which has suddenly decided that it wants to regulate internet services. As its name clearly suggests, TRAI’s job is to regulate the telecommunications industry. These are the companies that own and operate the “pipes”, like fibre-optic cables, towers, base stations, satellite […]
  • Dec 5, 2018
    Kaushik Basu’s new book titled”Republic of Beliefs” uses game theory to explore why some laws are obeyed while others are flouted. No one doubts that air pollution is a big concern in the National Capital Region of Delhi. Every year, the situation deteriorates by the time Diwali arrives and the Delhi government comes up with […]
  • Dec 4, 2018
    and
    Mobilised violence is detrimental to the democratic fabric of India. It prevents individuals from enjoying their right to speak, move and conduct business freely. It can also cause injuries and loss of life to bystanders, in addition to significant economic costs from a cessation of economic activity and damage to property. In this report, ‘mobilised violence’ is defined as an act or series of acts of violence committed by a group with the intent of furthering a political purpose.
  • Dec 4, 2018
    The global scientific community has been outraged by a Chinese scientist He Jiankui’s claim of creating the world’s first genetically modified baby using the gene editing technique CRISPR-Cas9. The scientist claims that baby Lulu – who differs from previous recipients of gene therapies like Layla Richards1 – was born with a genetic modification and will pass it on […]
  • Dec 4, 2018
    How is it that despite widespread corruption, inefficiency and incompetence across governments, India remains a country where, by and large, people are relatively safe, secure and prospering? Because, the outcome of the actions of the good people in government still outweighs the actions of the bad ones — even if the number of good people […]
  • Dec 3, 2018
    The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine following Sunday’s incident in the Kerch Strait. According to the Ukrainian Navy, Russian forces fired upon its vessels, injuring at least three sailors. Russian forces then reportedly captured three Ukrainian vessels along with 23 crew members. Moscow […]
  • Nov 29, 2018
    Even if this week’s news – that He Jiankui, a Chinese scientist, has produced gene-edited babies – had been found to be false, it would only have been a matter of time before someone did it successfully. The technique used for gene-editing, called CRISPR-Cas9, is relatively simple to use and a decent laboratory anywhere in the world […]
  • Nov 27, 2018
    This is the seventh edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at the jobs mantra during elections, the eternal promise of reservations, trade wars, Brexit, and Facebook trying to wash away its sins. Read more
  • Nov 22, 2018
    The way ahead for India rests on reconciling Indian interests with the recent changes in the political landscape, many of which are outside Indian control. The turning global tide against Pakistan’s policy of using terror gives India some breathing space. It should participate in political processes in order to add weight to the demands of India's friends in Afghanistan. Beyond this supplementary role, there is little that India has to gain from starting new peace processes. India's comparative advantage in Afghanistan comes from its contribution to state capacity building and economic development and for this reason alone it will continue to stay relevant in Afghanistan, Taliban or no Taliban.
  • Nov 20, 2018
    While Modi government’s claims that India’s nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) carried out a deterrence patrol are exaggerated, it is a fact that we are getting closer to that milestone. The capability to launch nuclear-armed missiles from nuclear-powered submarines is widely regarded as the greatest form of deterrence a country can possess. Read more
  • Nov 14, 2018
    Anticompetitive practices are quite common in the internet-enabled economy, and lawmakers have struggled to keep up.Authorities must find a balance between regulation and fostering an open, healthy environment for the platform economy to thrive.
  • Nov 14, 2018
    This is the sixth edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at political party manifestos, the effects of DeMon, and how companies are upskilling their employees. Read more
  • Nov 13, 2018
    Media headlines reporting research results often distort findings — substituting ‘newsworthiness’ for accuracy. The newsworthiness falls into two broad categories: “Whatever you thought you knew about this subject is completely wrong” or “research confirms what we knew to be right all along”. So, when a headline on BBC World this week announced that “a rising tide of nationalism in […]
  • Nov 9, 2018
    This is the fifth edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at how international trade creates jobs in India, how many ‘Australias’ of jobs India has to generate, our abysmal gender bias and job scams. Read […]
  • Nov 6, 2018
    If it is the world’s tallest statue of one of Indian republic’s greatest leaders, and promoted by its most powerful contemporary one, it will, of course, receive a lot of public attention. But unless you are the Nizam of Hyderabad or some other reluctant prince who had to be, er, strongly persuaded to accede to the Indian […]
  • Oct 31, 2018
    Over the past few months, there has been a growing chorus of international criticism focussed on the Chinese government’s crackdown on Uygur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. To blunt this outcry, the Communist Party has adopted a set of measures ranging from denial, obfuscation to opinion management.
  • Oct 31, 2018
    This is the fourth edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at a range of jobs from tech and AI and how to eradicate manual scavenging. Read more
  • Oct 31, 2018
    Less than two weeks have passed since the horrific tragedy near Amritsar where 59 of the people celebrating Dussehra on railway tracks were killed, and over a 100 more injured, by a passing train. Yet, like many other such tragedies in India, it has already disappeared from public discourse. A simple analysis using Google Trends shows that interest in […]
  • Oct 29, 2018
    Apart from being ineffective, prohibition also has massive unintended consequences. Prohibition pushes the market underground and actually increases the crime rate, leads to a loss in state revenue, loss in employment and livelihoods, increases corruption, and ultimately harms the very people it seeks to protect.
  • Oct 23, 2018
    This is the third edition of The Jobscape, our fortnightly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, Industry 4.0 holds a lot of hope for the future of jobs. Read more
  • Oct 23, 2018
    The murder of one-time Saudi regime insider and columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul has become riveting for many reasons. The mysterious circumstances around Khashoggi’s death inside the Saudi consulate, the gruesome manner in which he was done away with, the place where it all happened, and the key players in the aftermath and their potential fates are playing out in […]
  • Oct 16, 2018
    One of the positive trends in India’s think tank community in the past few years is the emergence of institutes that aim to study China. Last week, journalist Nitin Gokhale reported that the ministry of external affairs has set up a new think tank that includes members from intelligence, defence and trade. The higher education system has […]
  • Oct 15, 2018
    A few thoughts 1. Fundamental weaknesses in the conceptualisation of China’s external relations, especially President Xi Jinping’s Belt & Road Initiative, suggest that growth of Chinese maritime and sea power in our region will fluctuate over time. Firstly, established and aspiring powers will find greater reason to cooperate, and align against China. Note the relative fates […]
  • Oct 12, 2018
    and
    By Ajay Patri and Manasa Venkataraman Executive Summary This document contains recommendations and comments in response to the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 (Bill) released by the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Justice B. N. Srikrishna (Justice Srikrishna Committee) in July 2018. At the outset, we welcome the release of the Bill […]
  • Oct 12, 2018
    Zeynep Tufecki’s book, Twitter and Tear Gas, is an insightful analysis of the impact of social media on protests and social movements in today’s radically networked societies.
  • Oct 11, 2018
    China has been one of the early movers in the AI space, and evaluating its approach to AI development can help identify important lessons and pitfalls that Indian policy makers and entrepreneurs must keep in mind.
  • Oct 5, 2018
    For some strange reason, many people in the world believe that China’s leaders are astute but inscrutable strategists, with an unusual ability to both think long-term and do long-term. Why do I say strange? Well, look at the scorecard as it stands today. First, from well before the global financial crisis of 2008, China had […]
  • Oct 3, 2018
    In this, its sixth decade of existence, the task for the leadership is to look at a world outside terrorism and to take stock of new and emerging threats. Already, its counterparts in other parts of the world have begun looking at new frontiers.
  • Oct 3, 2018
    This is the second edition of The Jobscape, our fortnightly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, there’s good news from renewable energy and the gig economy — but with a caveat: the skilling gap. Read more
  • Oct 2, 2018
    The more I think of it, the stronger are my fears that the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Sabarimala case will hurt the very Indian republic that allowed a deeply iniquitous tradition to be overturned, allowing women equal rights to worship at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. I am not a conservative defender of religious […]
  • Oct 1, 2018
    By Manoj Kewalramani Download the paper in PDF Executive Summary In 2017, the Chinese government unveiled a plan to develop the country into the world’s primary innovation centre for artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. In doing so, it identified AI as a strategic industry, crucial for enhancing economic development, national security and governance. This report […]
  • Sep 26, 2018
    We are increasingly seeing the phenomenon where there are an enormous amount of applicants for a few government postings. The big obvious question here is regarding the inexplicably high demand for low paying government jobs by apparently overqualified job seekers.
  • Sep 25, 2018
    It looks like a fairytale ending. The people of the Maldives came together in large numbers and threw the tyrant out. Let’s make no bones about it: Abdulla Yameen, the man who was ousted this weekend and the Maldives’ incumbent president, is every bit of the bad guy of the story. He came to power under shady circumstances, indulged in an ‘orgy of corruption’, not […]
  • Sep 21, 2018
    The recent bank merger between Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, and Dena Bank is essentially a move of cowardice, and not the bold reformist step it is touted to be. The original plan (for reforming the banking sector) was to have just 6 public sector banks, and while Modi has reduced the number from 26 to 19, there’s still a far way to go. Further, the plan was not to achieve the reduction in numbers by merging all of the public sector banks into 6 mega banks that are still in government control, but to privatise them eventually.
  • Sep 20, 2018
    Among the most exciting discoveries in recent years has been in the field of genetics and genomics, as the deciphering of the Indian genetic code has yielded fascinating insights into, “Who We Are and How We Got Here”. That’s the title of Harvard scientist David Reich’s recent book on human origins as pieced together from […]
  • Sep 18, 2018
    and
    Executive Summary In 2017, the Doklam plateau became a flashpoint for the Asian powers, India and China. China’s tactics in Doklam are clear examples of its general “salami-slicing” strategy, a policy of gradual encroachment onto disputed territory where other claimants are forced to accede to a new status quo tilted in China’s favour. This Discussion […]
  • Sep 18, 2018
    This is the first edition of The Jobscape, our fortnightly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In the months ahead, we hope to delve deep into the issue, and bring you both fresh insights and sustainable solutions to a vexing issue. For more, follow us on Twitter […]
  • Sep 15, 2018
    ऑस्ट्रेलिया की ‘An India Economic Strategy to 2035’ रिपोर्ट दर्शाती है कि भारत का आर्थिक भविष्य दिल्ली से दूर उसके राज्यों और शहरों द्वारा परिभाषित किया जाएगा | और एक समृद्ध भविष्य के लिए केंद्र और राज्य सरकार दोनों को विदेश संबंधो के साधन का भरपूर फायदा उठाना चाहिए | ऐसा करने के लिए कुछ मूलभूत सुधारों की ज़रुरत है |
  • Sep 11, 2018
    Tariffs and other protectionist measures from the US have injected bitterness into its relationship with many countries and India is no exception to this.
  • Sep 11, 2018
    It has been reported that the Pakistani army chief quietly reached out to India a few months ago “to open barriers to trade between the countries, which would give Pakistan more access to regional markets”. Given the dire economic situation Pakistan is in, good neighbourliness is anyway in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s interests at this […]
  • Sep 6, 2018
    I wish to report to you, dear reader, that Mahathir Mohammed, Malaysia’s remarkable nonagenarian prime minister, has proved me right. That’s one more reason for you to read the Asian Balance regularly. You will recall I’d argued that China’s massive Belt and Road infrastructure investments will be resisted by forces of nationalism extant in Asian […]
  • Sep 4, 2018
    Last week, when the US government announced it would “re-programme” $300 million in military assistance to Pakistan, it was only the latest in a series of actions that have ratcheted up pressure on Islamabad. A year ago, when US President Donald Trump announced his Afghanistan strategy, Pakistan came in for mention only in the context […]
  • Aug 30, 2018
    नवजोत सिंह सिद्धू की झप्पी ने बड़ा बवाल उठा दिया भारत में | तो इस बार की पुलियाबाज़ी पाकिस्तान के मिलिट्री-जिहादी कॉम्प्लेक्स पर | ऐसा क्यों कि भारत-पाकिस्तान के रिश्ते सुधारने की कोई कोशिश के शुरू होते ही आतंकवादी हमले उस प्रक्रिया को विफल कर देते हैं? हमारा दावा है कि इस प्रकरण को समझने के लिए हमें जानना होगा कि पाकिस्तान में एक नहीं दो हुकूमतें है ! एक तो है उनकी सिविलियन सरकार और दूसरा – मिलिट्री-जिहादी कॉम्प्लेक्स (MJC) | कौनसी बला है यह MJC और भारत को इसका सामना कैसे करना चाहिए, जाने इस अंक में |
  • Aug 29, 2018
    and
    By Manasa Venkataraman and Ajay Patri The Takshashila Institution convened a Roundtable on 10 August 2018 to discuss issues arising from the documents released by the Justice Srikrishna Committee on 27 July 2018. These documents included the report titled A Free and Fair Digital Economy: Protecting Privacy, Empowering Indians and the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, […]
  • Aug 28, 2018
    The ongoing public debate on whether India should accept foreign aid to help Kerala recover after the flood disaster reminds me of an incident that occurred in December 2004. A couple of days after the devastating tsunami had ravaged India’s coastlines leaving hundreds of thousands displaced, I sought a meeting with Alok Prasad, India’s high […]
  • Aug 23, 2018
    The book Listening In by Prof Susan Landau studies the clash between the individual’s need for privacy and the law enforcement agencies’ need for access to information. It traces the evolution of cyber security and is a must read for aspiring cyber security professionals and those interested in privacy debates and cyber wars.
  • Aug 14, 2018
    Public policy is pervasive and affects us all. Knowledge of public policy is vital in many careers today. This article is about the skills that students of public policy acquire and the options to study public policy in India.
  • Aug 14, 2018
    Moving the Aero India show from Bengaluru to Lucknow — as the Modi government is reportedly considering — is a bad idea that will not only hurt India’s economic interests but also deepen the sense of grievance developing in the southern states. Political leaders in Karnataka have already come out strongly against the move. It is wholly unnecessary to move […]
  • Aug 9, 2018
    A couple of years ago, top executives of a mid-sized Western multinational found themselves in Beijing attending a strategy meeting of their Chinese subsidiary. After they covered the listed agenda, they found their local CEO cribbing about their Indian operation and how his Indian counterpart was dropping the ball, missing business opportunities and suchlike. Read […]
  • Aug 9, 2018
    and
    Everyone from Henry Kissinger and Donald Trump to Solomon Lane in the new Mission Impossible movie cares about the the end of the old world order. What is a world order? How is it changing? Most importantly, what should India be doing about it? In Episode 56 of The Pragati Podcast, Pranay Kotasthane and Anirudh Kanisetti join hosts Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan to discuss India’s strategies for a new world order.
  • Aug 4, 2018
    The episode includes discussions on the constitutionality of how the Aadhaar Act was passed in 2016, how and whether Aadhaar can be used by for government subsidies, taxes, and more — and whether it can be used by the private sector at all. Listen in to learn more about what to expect from the government […]
  • Aug 3, 2018
    The Government of India is trying to create the first ever law to protect your personal data and information. The Justice Srikrishna Committee has come out with a draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018. So what is the data protection bill about? Will it safeguard our privacy or create a monstrous government apparatus? Manasa Venkataraman […]
  • Aug 1, 2018
    By Anupam Manur Download the paper in PDF [620 KB] Executive Summary Multi-sided platforms possess unique characteristics that differentiate them from a normal market structure. The presence of direct and indirect network effects, high switching costs, price parity clauses, vertical integration, and differentiated pricing structures between the two sides of the platform are unique to […]
  • Jul 30, 2018
    Nothing has changed in Pakistan. Here are five areas in which Imran’s election will make no difference.
  • Jul 27, 2018
    As opposed to ‘sex work’, the term ‘prostitution’ is often associated with criminality, health risks and other anti-social traits, making it difficult to regulate officially or professionally within the conventions of socially and economically defined ‘work’. The use of the term ‘sex work’ is, thus,  necessary to separate it from these negative connotations. The acknowledgement […]
  • Jul 25, 2018
    , and
    By Pavan Srinath, Pranay Kotasthane, Devika Kher, Aashish Chhajer Download the paper in PDF [2 MB] Executive Summary Health policy is an essential pillar of human welfare. Given the high degree of externality, the State has to play a significant role in health and healthcare provision. Unfortunately, evidence shows that public spending on healthcare in […]
  • Jul 23, 2018
    If movies are an indication, the Indian man today must have a six-pack, be an accomplished dancer and project a sensitive, borderline vulnerable look. Three decades ago, he had to be tall and tough, preferably with a deep baritone and a hairy chest. He didn’t have to pump weights in a gym then but perhaps […]
  • Jul 20, 2018
    WhatsApp is doing a lot of things in response to the union government: tagging forwarded messages as such, testing “a lower limit of five chats at once”, removing “the quick forward button next to media messages”, and promoting digital literacy. It also plans to introduce its “fake news verification model” in India ahead of the […]
  • Jul 13, 2018
    Having studiously avoided all entrance examinations for the past 25 years, I was struck last week when my colleagues showed me a few questions from the Gaokao, China’s annual national college entrance exams. Now, I’m familiar with the debate over the Gaokao and its flaws, especially over whether it selects for merit as is claimed, but I […]
  • Jul 9, 2018
    , and
    By Anirudh Kanisetti, Anupam Manur, and Pranay Kotasthane Download the Discussion Document in PDF [1.8 MB] Executive Summary “The New World Order” is a phrase often used but rarely understood. This discussion document proposes an analytical framework to decode what a New World Order means for India. The document presents a flexible action portfolio to […]
  • Jun 27, 2018
    US President Donald Trump's unilateralism in East Asia is increasingly benefiting China. Xi Jinping’s approach, in contrast is furthering the broader narrative of a China that is open to deeper multilateral engagement.
  • Jun 27, 2018
    Cantonments may be colonial creations in their origins, but that does not mean that the military does not need exclusive spaces.
  • Jun 24, 2018
    Dilip Thakore has asked me to respond to the question “Are low tuition fees destroying Indian public higher education.” Let’s take a step back. 1. Why should the government fund higher education? The general answer to this that there are positive externalities to higher education, and that the optimum level of higher education in society is […]
  • Jun 21, 2018
    India needs to be creating around 20 million jobs year on year for the next decade or more. However, we are barely managing to create around 2 million jobs. This deficit has serious implications for the Indian economy and society.
  • Jun 20, 2018
    , and
    By Dr. Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [1 MB] The Pasthun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a powerful civil and human rights movement, has rattled Pakistan’s political and military establishment by drawing huge crowds. The merger of the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) can […]
  • May 22, 2018
    By Shambhavi Naik Download the Slidedoc in PDF [1.5 MB] Gene drives are being explored for alleviating vector-borne infectious diseases however, the risks of employing them need to be understood. This Slidedoc assesses the potential use of gene drives in India by performing a stage-wise risk assessment of deploying gene drive. Gene drive mosquitoes are […]
  • May 11, 2018
    To break the nexus of crime and politics in India, we should not wait until the conviction of accused candidates. Once criminal charges are framed against candidates, they should be debarred from contesting elections.
  • May 7, 2018
    , and
    By Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [2.5 MB] Executive Summary The Doklam crisis is evidence that the regional security dynamic in the neighbourhood is being challenged. As Bhutan readies for its third National Assembly elections later this year, India must act to address Bhutanese concerns that are weakening the […]
  • May 7, 2018
    That social media in general — and WhatsApp in particular — are important channels through which bigotry is spreading, is now well-known, if less well-understood. Around ten years ago, I had begun to speculate that as mobile internet pervades societies and they become radically networked, we will see both entirely new forms of politics, and new forms […]
  • Apr 27, 2018
    By Manoj Kewalramani Download the Assessment in PDF [1.1 MB] Executive Summary Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Wuhan for a two-day informal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 27 and 28, 2018. The two leaders are expected to discuss “issues of overarching, long-term and strategic importance” along with changes in the […]
  • Apr 17, 2018
    The Social Credit System is about much more than surveillance and loyalty, as popularly understood. Nudging persons to adopt desirable behaviour and enhancing social control are part of the story. But there are larger drivers of this policy. It is fundamentally linked to the Chinese economy and its transformation to being more market driven.
  • Apr 17, 2018
    The Social Credit System is about much more than surveillance and loyalty, as popularly understood. Nudging persons to adopt desirable behaviour and enhancing social control are part of the story. But there are larger drivers of this policy. It is fundamentally linked to the Chinese economy and its transformation to being more market driven.
  • Apr 10, 2018
    , and
    By Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [700 KB] Executive Summary The victory of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in the local bodies’ elections in Sri Lanka in February reflects public dissatisfaction with the ruling coalition’s performance. It also indicates that Rajapaksa continues to […]
  • Apr 3, 2018
    Xi Jinping has promised to provide “Chinese solutions” to world problems. But China strategy for managing conflict has serious flaws, as it looks at conflict largely from an economic prism, glossing over deep-seated ethnic, religious and linguistic fissures, along with stakeholder grievances over lack of participation in governance.
  • Mar 27, 2018
    The United States’ listing of China as a “competitor,” “rival” and “revisionist power” in its National Security Strategy has led many to postulate the beginning of a new Cold War. Unfortunately, that construct is neither sufficient nor instructive in understanding the changes that are afoot in the international order.
  • Mar 27, 2018
    This article is a book review of the fascinating book Who Gets What and Why, by Nobel laureate Alvin Roth. Roth studies the design of matching markets and identifies the four pillars for an efficient design using examples of markets such as the university and school admissions and kidney donations.
  • Mar 26, 2018
    If the objective of general-purpose transfers is to enable comparable levels of public services at comparable tax rates, it is only fair that the latest population data be used. Justifying the use of dated population data (1971 census) assumes that general-purpose transfers are levers for family planning. They aren’t. Family planning and population control are better managed through interventions on the expenditure side of budgets. The idea of punishing individuals elsewhere in the country just because these areas continue to languish goes diametrically against the Indian Republic’s spirit. If this argument of southern-versus-northern states is followed through, a direct corollary would be to also oppose money flows from Bengaluru to Bidar, or from Whitefield to south Bengaluru.
  • Mar 22, 2018
    Almost every digital major out there – from Google to Amazon, Ola to Swiggy – plays both platform and player to expand their reach and market. This itself is not anti-competitive but it becomes unfair practice when the platforms violate the neutrality of platforms and take benefit of data of others on the platform to its benefit. India does not have an adequate legal framework to deal with this yet but it can explore different options even if it means moving from textbook regulation.
  • Mar 19, 2018
    The Indian government had promised to set up a Nudge Unit and use the insights of behavioural economics to shape public policy. The 2018 Union budget revealed no signs of it.
  • Mar 19, 2018
    and
    Our data, taken without our consent, can be used for informational warfare that harms our democracy. The actions of social media and analytics companies are a clear threat to voters’ rights to make free and fair choices.
  • Mar 12, 2018
    There are certain common misconception about protectionism – that tariffs help in protecting jobs and infant industries, are a useful measure against dumping, and improving the trade balance, among others. In this podcast, we explore these various myths of protectionism.
  • Mar 10, 2018
    Xi's rapid consolidation of power has led some to conclude that China is descending into an era of dictatorship, with an all-powerful strongman in charge. Despite all the accumulation of power, however, Xi, and even the party itself, are far more vulnerable than is apparent.

  • Apr 13, 2019
    Unlike those of other countries, India’s machines are offline, inaccessible via the internet. In India, what started out as genuine concerns have transformed into a thinly veiled excuse each time parties lose elections — no matter that the Election Commission of India (ECI), recognised across major democracies for its independence, has taken steps to address […]
  • Apr 13, 2019
    Last June, German police arrested a man planning a terror attack by releasing large quantities of the biological toxin ricin, said to be 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide. The raids on a block of flats in Cologne blew the lid off our worst fears: non-state actors laying their hands on bioweapons. Technology has always […]
  • Apr 9, 2019
    Further, breaking up these companies would significantly reduce the value consumers get due to the high interconnectedness of the products. A lot of the value that Google has seen in the Maps platform, for instance, comes from all the data that they have from Search. Customers also receive a lot of value from other Google […]
  • Apr 2, 2019
    What is remarkable about the 2019 Lok Sabha election is that the very nature of the contest is under contest. On the face of it, the BJP is asking people to give Narendra Modi a second term as prime minister, while the Congress and other opposition parties are campaigning to topple him. Yet below the […]
  • Mar 26, 2019
    The recent public intervention by a group of economists over data published under the Narendra Modi government and a rejoinder to them by a bigger group of chartered accountants makes it appear as if public policy is a numbers game. And as if economics and accountancy are two rival ideologies contending for political power. Both these impressions are wrong, dangerous […]
  • Mar 20, 2019
    Many newspaper editorials, activists and citizens are elated that the Modi government has finally appointed the first chairperson of the Lokpal. Since seven more members remain to be selected and appointed, and the entire organisation has to be staffed according to government rules, it’ll be some time before the institution begins to function. We are […]
  • Mar 19, 2019
    To be effective, terrorism must have an audience. The New Zealand attackers simply used a GoPro and live streaming on Facebook while they carried out the massacre. With social media and the mobile internet, terrorists can not only reach a global audience, they can get their message across unfiltered. These, unfortunately, are near-perfect conditions for terrorism. […]
  • Mar 18, 2019
    With Future Retail signed up as its master franchise, the 7-Eleven convenience store chain will open its iconic shops in many Indian cities this year. Unlike in almost all the 18 other countries where it is “always close, but never closed”, it won’t be able to operate round the clock in India. As Kishore Biyani […]
  • Mar 17, 2019
    The decision by the Trump administration to withdraw preferential treatment to Indian goods should serve as a strong warning to the New Delhi that prioritising narrow domestic politics over good economic policy can have dangerous consequences. Trump’s decision to levy import duties on erstwhile exempted goods did not, as commonly understood, come out of the […]
  • Mar 12, 2019
    The Election Commission has announced that it will closely monitor the social media campaigns of parties and candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. It has enlisted the cooperation of Google, Facebook and Twitter to uphold “the integrity of the political campaigns on their platforms”. As much as the Election Commission must be commended for factoring in social media activities in its overall governance […]
  • Mar 5, 2019
    There is a delicious irony in the Indian external affairs minister being the guest of honour at the OIC foreign ministers’ conclave in Abu Dhabi last week. The hosts did not rescind their invitation to India despite Pakistan’s strident protest, and accepted a Pakistani ministerial boycott as a price worth paying for the benefit of engaging India. Ironic, because it is almost […]
  • Mar 5, 2019
    As the fog of war between India and Pakistan clears, here’s an assessment of the strategic consequences that go beyond immediate tactical gains and losses. Read the full article on ThePrint.
  • Mar 4, 2019
    Pranay’s reply to this question for ThePrint’s #TalkPoint of 4th March 2019 The opposition parties are justified in seeking evidence to the extent that the government’s spokespersons insist with their boastful claim that 250-300 terrorists were killed in the Balakot air strikes by the Indian Air Force. In the broader scheme of things, the strategic […]
  • Mar 2, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week, we cover China’s role amid Indo-Pak tensions; the lead-up to the annual Two Sessions; Huawei’s big media campaign and a lot more. 1. Beijing’s Balancing Act The tensions between India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have […]
  • Feb 27, 2019
    The optimum Indian military response to the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s attack on Indian security forces at Pulwama would be one that falls between two thresholds: high enough to impose costs on the Pakistani military-jihadi complex, but not so high that it would escalate to a higher level of conflict. The Narendra Modi government’s use of air power […]
  • Feb 26, 2019
    It occurs so frequently in India that we have given it a name: When lots of people die after consuming contaminated liquor, we call it a “hooch tragedy”. Over 150 people died in the latest one over the weekend, in Assam’s tea-growing areas around Golaghat and Jorhat. Hundreds more have been hospitalised. Amid street protests, the state government has begun […]
  • Feb 26, 2019
    Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey was required to appear for a Parliamentary hearing earlier this month after being accused by social media users of bias against particular political views. He did not. As the conversation around social media, fake news and online censorship gets intense in the run-up to the general elections, Anirudh Kanisetti asks whether […]
  • Feb 22, 2019
    This is the eleventh edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at recruitment in the armed forces, women and jobs in STEM, artificial intelligence and the woes of youth. Read more
  • Feb 19, 2019
    More than fear and insecurity, it is outrage that is driving public opinion after the terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama. There is widespread expectation that the Narendra Modi government retaliate using military force and further, conversationally at least, many people want to go to war with Pakistan To the extent that such a state […]
  • Feb 19, 2019
    In May 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping placed an ambitious proposition before the leaders of the country’s scientific community. He called on them to “aim for the frontiers of science and technology” and emerge as the “vanguards in innovation in the new era.” The overarching objective, he said, was for China to become a “major […]
  • Feb 17, 2019
    In terms of reliability of official data, India is getting dangerously close to Chinese territory. The year that witnessed demonetization, when 86% of the cash in circulation was declared as illegal tender overnight and which was perhaps one of the greatest assaults on private property in recent history, is now being touted as the year […]
  • Feb 14, 2019
    This is the tenth edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at the official job numbers from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the interim budget, universal basic income and lessons from China. Read more